• 1 Malaysia Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 1997 Mar;6(1):31-5.
PMID: 24394650


Thirty six-male New Zealand White rabbits subdivided into four dietary groups (9 animals per group) were fed high fat (36% en), cholesterol-free diets for nine months. The dietary oil blends were formulated to contain high levels of the target fatty acids namely trans-rich (partially hydrogenated soybean oil; TRANS), cis monounsaturated-rich (rapeseed, sunflower seed oil and palm olein; MONO), palmitic-rich (palm olein; POL) and lauric-myristic rich (coconut, palm kernel and corn oils; LM). Ad libitum feeding of the rabbits resulted in normal growth throughout the nine months and no differences in the final body weights of the animals were evident at autopsy. Plasma total cholesterol was significantly elevated only by the LM enriched diet compared with all other treatments; values were comparable between the other three treatment groups. Changes in the total cholesterol were not reflected in the VLDL and LDL lipoproteins. However, HDL-cholesterol was significantly lowered by the TRANS diet compared with all other dietary groups. HDL-cholesterol was also significantly increased by the LM diet in comparison to the POL-diet. Both adipose and liver triglyceride fatty acid compositions tended to reflect the type of fatty acids fed the animals. Trans fatty acids were evident only in animals fed the trans diet and it was apparent that the trans fatty acids competed with linoleic acid for incorporation into these tissues. Increased concentrations of lauric and myristic fatty acids in the LM-fed animals were also evident. In the POL and high MONO fed rabbits, palmitic and oleic fatty acids (respectively) were concentrated in the adipose and liver. The diets, however, failed to induce severe atherosclerosis in this study. This can be explained, in part, by the lack of dietary cholesterol and the use of plant (rather than animal) proteins in our dietary formulations. The effect of these important atherosclerosis modulators in association with these fatty acids requires further evaluation.

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